We’ve had a teacher’s strike out here on the West Coast, and that means we were immediately thrown onto a fast moving train to crazy town for the past few weeks. There’s nothing quite like having summer instantly thrown at you. All of the plans we made and the slow build up to having the kids home full time has been tossed brutally out the window, and I’m scrambling for things for them to do that will take up some time.
Because I’m scrambling for things to do while still maintaining my work schedule, I’ve been digging through the app store a bit more than I usually do. I like to think of it as hunting, tech style. My criteria for ‘best apps’ of the summer is threefold:
- The app must keep them entertained for longer than 5 minutes (translation: the iPad will not be tossed in the air in favor of a fight breaking out over something else)
- The app must be free or inexpensive. I’m all for in-app purchases to a point, but I want to try before I buy.
- The app must not encourage violence. I have three boys, two dogs, and a preteen girl. I also have a cat that has rage issues, so no fake guns, blowing things up, etc. etc. These people I live with don’t need any ideas put into their heads.
With that in mind, here are my most recent picks for best apps of the summer.
Best iPad Apps
iTunes – Head over there
Google Play – Head over there
Whoever is uploading content to the Instructables app has way more time on their hands than I do, but I am eternally grateful for the insane amount of stuff you can create after downloading it. It’s not just for kids either – I’ve always coveted the idea of having a ‘writers cottage’ in my backyard, and Instructables showed me how to do it for under $3000. Now if I could just sneak the trampoline out of the yard by cover of darkness, I might have the room.
You can favorite projects, follow projects, and comment on your own, and there is a TON of stuff you can do with your kids.
Disney Checkout Challenge
iTunes – Check it out
Google Play – Check it out
I used to work in a super market, and although it was tiring, stressful work, I have to admit I kind of miss the cash register. That might be why I go to self-checkouts whenever I’m in a store that has one, and that’s why I find Disney Checkout Challenge so much fun. It’s challenging enough for the kids, and it’s worthy of an argument or two when you want it to be ‘your turn.’
The Game of Life Classic
Road trips, rainy days, or any day when you all you want is 5 uninterrupted minutes to flat iron your hair because the humidity is out of control and you’ve looked like the female version of carrot top all summer, causing your husband to spend more time with his iPhone and friends to pretend they don’t know you at the waterslides. Wait, what?
Anyway, The Game of Life Classic is just like the original board game, and if you can stop yourself from lecturing the kids about the benefits of University educations before they play, you just might get 20 minutes to yourself this summer.
I hope these best ipad apps help you survive the summer, and if you feel like handing over your phone, we’ll be back soon with some best iphone apps to help you a bit more.